Jazz Goes to School hits schools for 16th year!

By Vail Jazz

September 30, 2013 – Vail, Colorado – Jazz Goes to School, the Vail Jazz Foundation’s jazz education program for Eagle County 4th and 5th graders, returns to schools the week of September 30th.

The innovative educational program features professional musician/educators who visit with 16 local schools to share their love and knowledge of jazz and American History, and inspire young people to embrace jazz: America’s own art form.

“After recently concluding our most successful summer jazz festival,” says Executive Director Robin Litt, “we are more excited than ever to bring jazz to local school kids. There’s nothing like Jazz Goes to School elsewhere in the country, and we are privileged to have such a talented teaching staff lead the program.”

Jazz Goes to School, now in its sixteenth year, supports and promotes the jazz art form with a focus on educating young musicians and young audiences – fulfilling the mission of The Vail Jazz Foundation.

This first session of the four part program traces the evolution of the music from its origins in Africa and the American south through to today’s jazz.

Local jazz musician and program director Tony Gulizia explains, “We look at the geographical movement of Senegalese, Yorbuba-Dahomean and Ashantis slaves to the United States. We examine their customs and culture with a particular emphasis on the musical traditions they brought to America.”

The history of great jazz giants, such as Louis Armstrong, Jelly Roll Morton, W.C. Handy, Scott Joplin, King Oliver, Kid Ory, and how the migration of the black population brings the blues to New Orleans is also featured in this lesson.

Additionally, the history of many musical instruments is discussed, and students are encouraged to try their hand at playing special percussion instruments from West Africa. Students learn about African rhythms which found their way to New Orleans, where they began to blend with European church music.

Tony Gulizia (keyboard and vocals), directs the Jazz Goes to School program for the 16 th year for The Vail Jazz Foundation. For this first session, Gulizia is joined by his brother Joey, who is also a professional jazz musician and educator, on drums and Michael Pujado, on percussion.

Subsequent sessions include up to six jazz musicians as they share their various functions within the jazz band.


About Jazz Goes To School

Jazz Goes to School is presented by The Vail Jazz Foundation to Eagle County fourth and fifth graders, including all public schools plus the Eagle County Charter Academy, Vail Mountain School, Vail Christian Academy, Stone Creek Charter School and St. Clare of Assisi.

Jazz Goes to School reaches over 1,100 students each year, and has exposed over 14,000 school students to a course about this uniquely American art form.

The final session in the spring is a true jazz concert performed by the Jazz Goes to School Sextet at the Vilar Performing Arts Center.

Jazz Goes to School offers a unique interactive learning experience that enhances the basic school curriculum and is provided free of charge, thanks to each school’s PTO and supported with grants from: Alpine Bank, United Way Eagle River Valley and Vail Resorts Echo, along with festival sponsors: AT&T, Alpine Party Rentals, Colorado Creative Industries, Colorado Mountain Express – Official Transportation Provider, Ella Fitzgerald Charitable Foundation, The Jazz Cruise, KUVO 89.3 & KVJZ 88.5 Jazz Public Radio, Vail Daily, Vilar Center Community Fund, Woods and Son Pianos and Yamaha. In addition, individual donations support Jazz Goes to School.